BEIJING — China's airlines are banned from paying charges on carbon emissions imposed by the European Union, the official Xinhua news agency reported Monday, quoting the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

The EU imposed the tax with effect from January 1, but more than two dozen countries, including India, Russia, China and the United States, have opposed the move, saying it violates international law.

"China's airlines are not allowed to pay a charge on carbon emissions imposed by the Europe Union, and neither to hike freights nor to add other fees accordingly in absence of government permission," Xinhua quoted the body as saying.

No one at the Civil Aviation Administration of China was immediately available for comment, but Beijing has said repeatedly that it opposes the new EU scheme, which Chinese state media has said would lead to a "trade war" in the sector.

The China Air Transport Association, which represents the country's airlines, said last month the government was considering "countermeasures", without giving any details.

The EU launched the ETS (emissions trading scheme) in 2005 in a bid to reduce carbon emissions of power stations and industrial plants.

It decided to include airlines, responsible for three percent of global emissions, in the system in the absence of a global agreement to cap aviation emissions.

Airlines that refuse to comply could be fined with the possibility of being denied the right to land in the 27-nation EU in extreme cases, the bloc has said.

Copyright © 2012 AFP. All rights reserved.